General Motors president Daniel Ammann says autonomous vehicles represent “the biggest business opportunity since the creation of the internet”. This new website – CarsoftheFuture.co.uk – will follow the story as it unfolds.
Being UK-based, it’s pleasing to report that we’ve made a decent start. The UK was recently ranked the fifth best-prepared country for autonomous vehicles, after 1) The Netherlands, 2) Singapore, 3) The USA and 4) Sweden.
Since then, the University of Warwick has announced a new Smart City Mobility Centre, including driverless testing facilities…
… and businesses are also getting in on the act. For example, private hire company Addison Lee has linked with driverless software specialist Oxbotica to map London’s Canary Wharf in what’s been described as the first steps toward autonomous driving in the capital.
As to the potential benefits – apart from the advantage to firms of not having to pay drivers – the latest artificial intelligence (AI) modelling shows that self-driving cars can improve traffic flow.
Meanwhile, much of the UK remains blighted by not-spots. Ofcom data suggests 5,000+ miles of roads in Britain have no phone signal, with the Highlands of Scotland worst affected.
There’s also the phenomenon of catastrophic forgetting to consider. The problem of computers overwriting their parameters when they learn a new task, losing what they previously knew, is one of the biggest barriers to artificial general intelligence (AGI).
Bearing all this in mind, is it premature to declare driverless cars the biggest business opportunity since the internet?